Sangre Colorado: Carlos Frésquez Mid-Career Survey

January 12 - March 24

Sangre Colorado: Carlos Frésquez Mid-Career Survey is an exhibition that features work spanning forty years of the influential and prolific career of Denver’s own Carlos Frésquez. A celebrated Chicano artist, Frésquez’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in major collections. In his paintings, prints, and installations Frésquez honors his Chicano background and pulls in varied influences from punk and pop culture to modern masters, blending visual and cultural cues with both reverence and humor.

The exhibition and catalog begin with artwork Frésquez made as an undergraduate student in the 1970s, a time when the Chicano Rights movement was gaining momentum in Denver. Frésquez brought Chicano culture into the classroom as a student through visual representation in his artwork, and by demanding discussion of Chicano art in history courses. As a professor Frésquez continues to bring the conversation of equality and rights into the classroom and into his artwork. Through his artwork we see Frésquez’s reverence (and sometimes irreverence) for Chicano and Mexican tradition alongside pop culture and modern art references that situate Chicano art among the progression of contemporary art. 

The intention behind Frésquez’s work is often to make the viewer reexamine commonly accepted beliefs about the human condition and the façade of hierarchy among different groups of people. The title of the exhibition, “Sangre Colorado” is an example of Carlos’s playful use of language paired with imagery to convey meaning that is on one level humorous, but with a serious message behind the pun. The use of Sangre, Spanish for “blood” and Colorado, which means “red color” together are a play on the colloquialism, “red-blooded American.” Like that of many self-identifying Chicano/as, Carlos’s family has lived in Colorado for several generations. As he says, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”

From his early abstract work, to his layered multimedia paintings as half of the Los Supersonicos artist duo, to his set design and the reoccurring motif of the curtain, the exhibition travels the wide span of Frésquez’s career trajectory.

Extra Credit
Through teaching, both as a professor of art at Metropolitan State University of Denver, as well as in many community outreach programs, Frésquez has mentored thousands of students to find their voice and tell their story through art. In honor of his significant impact, CVA’s 965 Student Curated Gallery will present Extra Credit, an invitational exhibition featuring new work by over 40 of Frésquez’s former students.

All CVA events free and open to the public. Partner events offer CVA Members a discount; see below for details.

Friday, Jan 12, 2018, 6-8pm
Opening Reception
Music by DJ Dizzy D

Wednesday, March 7, 2017, 5:30pm
Carlos Frésquez Artist Talk

Saturday, March 24, 2017, 4-6pm
Closing Reception and Poetry Reading.
Join Carlos in a ceremonial repainting of the walls, erasing the temporary murals while reflecting on their content.

First and Third Fridays, 6-8pm
Open late for viewing and art making

Tuesdays & Thursdays, January 9–March 22, 3:30-5:30pm
Free and open workshops for ages 11-21

All events free and open to the public.


The CVA gratefully acknowledges the following for their generous sponsorship of Sangre Colorado:
MSU Denver: College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Department of Art; Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, BBVA Compass Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries

CVA Annual Sponsors
MSU Denver Student Affairs Board, Jan and Fred Mayer Fund, Marcia Gold Naiman Fund, Campbell Foundation Fund, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff Ragonetti PC and BBVA Compass Bank, Delta Dental, SpringHill Suites Downtown at MSU Denver.

The exhibition is organized by the Center for Visual Art and is curated by Cecily Cullen, Managing Director / Curator of CVA.


See more of Carlos Frésquez's work at:

Recognizing One of Our Own

Month of February

CHAC - Chicano Humanities & Arts Council - Front Gallery
772 Santa Fe Drive

As a further demonstration of Frésquez’s impact on the community, The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council has committed a full wall in their gallery to exhibit additional works by Carlos Frésquez. Recognizing One of Our Own will be on display for the month of February with a Reception and Book Signing Friday, February 16, 6-8pm. 


Pachucos y Sirenas
February 8 – May 26

Museo de las Americas
861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO

The exhibition will feature old school and new school artists that share an affinity with the Pachuco legacy. Artists such as Justin Favela, Antonia Fernandez, Carlos Frésquez, Josiah Lopez, Jerry Vigil, and Daniel Salazar will highlight the impact that the 1940’s Pachuco legacy had on the American experience. The opening reception will be at Museo de las Americas on Thursday, February 8 from 6-9 pm, followed by an artist talk on Friday, February 9 from 6-8 pm.

In SITu: From the Artist's Perspective
January 18 – April 1

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities - Main Gallery
6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Arvada, CO

A prevalent element all artist studios have in common is a chair. No matter the type, style, or medium of work created by the artist, the studio chair is an important tool for their creative practice. In this exhibition, artwork by twenty nine artists can be viewed while sitting in the artist’s studio chair, which will be situated in front of their work. While viewing artwork from the artist’s own studio chair, visitors can ponder each piece and hopefully gain a glimpse of the artist’s vision.

The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración
June 29 – July 1

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración examines the diverse and complex viewpoints of artists who visualize and celebrate the lowrider aesthetic through a selection of artwork that includes vehicles, paintings, sculptures, and art installations which present the lowrider as an object of artistic inspiration. Opening reception is Thursday, June 29th.